CAPE TOWN - Western Province coach John Dobson believes that a more direct style sparked their 34-19 comeback win over the Pumas at Newlands on Saturday.
Province trailed 10-12 at half-time after a rather disappointing first-half display that saw a number of promising attacking movements ruined through unforced errors, and they just didn’t make good use of all their possession. The Pumas, on the other hand, saw the ball much less than WP, but made proper use of their few opportunities to go into the break with the lead.
And Dobson said that things went better after his halftime message.
“We made a lot of mistakes in the general game and it didn’t change at halftime, the first five minutes after halftime were just as bad. Our set-piece bailed us out to a degree, but after that (first half) our class started coming through," he said. “We were much better when we went direct. The message at halftime was to be much more direct in our carries and how we move the ball.”
WP's lack of cohesion also bothered Dobson.
“We paid a lot of rent in terms of the guys getting to know each other and settling as a team. We said that this was the launch of our campaign, so hopefully we can build a bit of rhythm,” Dobson said. “Maybe we’re going to lean toward playing more similar players over the next two weeks.”
WP will travel to Kimberley on Tuesday to face Griquas on Wednesday (1pm kickoff), before flying back to Cape Town on Thursday to host the Blue Bulls on Saturday, and Dobson said that there would be a few changes to his team for the next two games.
“Because of the Cheetahs game we said that we needed to get five points from each of these games. We have to win all three of these games, and those guys who got a rest last week can be squeezed this week,” Dobson said.
“There may not be as many changes as we thought. But we are going to have to make a few changes for Kimberley because we’re playing two games within seven days.”